Ugly Beautiful?: Counting the Cost of the Global Fashion Industry -…
Ugly Beautiful?: Counting the Cost of the Global Fashion Industry
framing fashion geographically
the fashion industry is an important creative component in the making of the economy
it's chains of sourcing, production, supply and consumption span, unite and divide every geographical scale
what geographical stories do our clothes tell?
geographical significance of 'made in China' compared to 'made in Italy'
geographies of fashion must be understood in terms of rationality, characterized by complexity, connection, fragility and instability
importance of connecting the geographies of fashion - break down binary imaginings of spaces; 'over there' (e.g. sweatshops in China) or 'over here' (e.g. designer shops in London)
scale, journeys, and the relational geographies of fashion
international division of labour
fashion commodity chain is seen as a series of discrete and distant places with their own specific economic and social geographies
this spatial construction has suited big businesses well
"Money without borders leads to sweatshop exploitation of the world's poorest" - Anita Roddick
we need to reconnect with the journey of our clothes, as well as the people that make them
geography of jean production
cotton grown in Benin, West Africa; raw denim from Milan; indigo is grown in Frankfurt; stonewashed with pumice from Turkey; thread is made in Northern Ireland, Turkey and Hungary; thread is dyed in Spain; rivets & buttons manufactured from zinc and copper in Australia and Namibia.
A pair of jeans uses three-quarters of a pound of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers (Harkin, 2007)
people are dying from insecticide and pesticide poisoning (Abrams and Astill, 2001)
pollution form copper mines in Namibia is toxic
machine-washing, tumble drying and ironing your jeans results in 47% of the eco-damage caused by an 'average' pair of jeans that is worn one day a week for four years and washed every third wear at 40oC.
this is the equivalent of burning 4000 lightbulbs for an hour (Boeglin, 2006)
unlikely we will even wear our jeans this much before they're discarded or damaged
denim market was worth £1.51 billion in 2007
the fashioned body
hyper-thin has become the new industry standard in fashion
unachievable body ideals
increase in eating disorders with children as young as 10
why do we turn a blind eye to the distant exploitation that enables us to buy cheap, fast fashion for just a few pounds?
wages have halved in Bangladesh in the past 10 years
they have the cheapest garment workers, working the longest hours and living in the most unsafe and unsanitary conditions
fashion needs a social conscience
Sir Phillip Green - owner of clothing empire Arcadia - refusing to join any ethical standards organizations and continues to source garments from Asian factories that pay workers less than £4 per day
consumers know everything about price, but nothing about value (Leader, 2006)